Wed | Oct 4, 2023

35 years of Carr care

Coach’s longevity spurred by the will to always help

Published:Thursday | October 27, 2022 | 12:10 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Michael Carr
Michael Carr

WHEN COACH Michael Carr pulls on his maroon and gold shirt each morning and heads to Wolmer’s Girls’ School, he isn’t just thinking about coaching athletics. He is seeing the way forward for his young charges and hoping he can help.

That’s what keeps him going.

“Helping, guiding, those two things kinda make a difference,” said the man who came to Wolmer’s 35 years ago.

“You’re moulding a life that you know is going to put them on the road to success for greater achievement through track and field because a lot of them have not gone on to be professionals in track and field, but they have done well at universities, got their master’s in various areas, some lawyers, some have been doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, right across the board,” said Carr.

Honoured with a lifetime achievement award earlier this month by the Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association, he added, “Thank God, I don’t have nuh t’eif yet.”

During his time at Wolmer’s, the great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and World Championships 100-metre finalists Nikole Mitchell and Jonielle Smith have come through the school’s gates. Throwers like Brenda Grace-Hunt and Tamilee Kerr and horizontal jumper Daydreon Coleman, high jumper Shanice Hall, and tracksters Shauna Helps, NCAA 400 champ Jodi-Ann Muir and Kissi-Ann Brown have all represented the nation at the junior level. Four-hundred hurdler Danielle Dowie, World Under-18 400 hurdles runner-up, has also raced for Jamaica at the 2013 World Championships.

His Champs winning hurdlers include Ayanna Buchanan, Renee White, Ackeisha Burnett, Keisha Wallace and 2021 class IV 70 hurdles princess Tiana Marshall.

Asked why he has been at Wolmer’s for so long, he was almost speechless.


“It’s just a wonderful institution. The principals, I went there with Miss Pamela Harrison and now, we have Mrs (Colleen) Montague, they have been very supportive, and it’s just a warmth, you know, shown to me all the while. Words can’t explain it,” he said from the heart.

Carr has also served his country as head coach, and event coach for many Carifta, Pan-Am Junior and World Under-18 and Under-20 teams.

“It’s something in me just to help,” he explained.

Then he recalled the plight of an athlete from another school struggling with unfamiliar starting blocks at a recent staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.

“I went over and helped her, and about two days after, somebody came and said, sir, somebody came and left a bag for you. When I looked in that bag, it was some yam and all those things coming from a school in Trelawny, but I didn’t do it to get anything,” he stated.

“I just did it because I saw it was to be done and it’s helping. Nuh care what happen, somebody is benefiting from the help,” he said.

“Whether it’s the school or the person. It doesn’t matter to me.”